Beauty products company Sephora operates nearly 2,000 stores across 29 countries, but in Australia, it has only 400 employees and two people managing human resources administration.
By the very nature of the business, many of the employees are temporary and casual and there is high staff turnover.
When the onboarding process was paper-based, it would take two employees weeks to fully onboard one employee. It was also costly.
Each employee received a physical handbook which cost AUD 25 to produce with the total cost of the paperwork coming to around AUD 40 per employee.
For the HR staff, this also involved multiple trips to the Post Office and extra administration for tracking each package through to delivery.
It was clear there had to be a better way to do things. So, the search was on for a digital solution which would speed up the process and take the load off the HR staff.
The Sizzling Answer
With Flare, employees now receive an email from the system asking them to complete onboarding via the platform.
Employees have the control to fill out their details and upload them when the need arises, and for the HR team, a process which used to take two weeks now takes only minutes of their time.
Flare has also helped the startup food business Bondi Pizza to grow, which grew from one restaurant in the iconic Sydney suburb of Bondi to around ten outlets across the city.
Bondi Pizza also has significant staff turnover and employs many travelers who are in Australia on various work and holiday working visas.
Flare helped not just with onboarding and offboarding but also with compliance, both with the immigration law and around the working rights of employees.
In a story similar to that of Sephora, Bondi Pizza’s HR functions were previously executed across 400 employees each with 20 pages of paperwork.
Branch managers were sifting through 8,000 physical pages each month, taking up half a day per restaurant and creating hours of work chasing up employees. Without a centralized HR department, individual stores were handling their administration and compliance.
It is a situation common in many rapidly expanding businesses, and one which clearly demanded a digital solution across the whole company.
The result of deploying Flare was that manual processes were eliminated, HR was centralized, and the ongoing pain point of visa tracking was eased with a notification process, where the company is automatically notified 60 days before any visa expiry.
Onboarding is not the only functionality performed by Flare, and this is why the company caught the attention of Australian bank Westpac.
Through its dedicated fintech fund Reinventure, Westpac invested more than AUD 1 million in seed funding back in 2016.
The business models are similar in that Flare is also free to users, and the revenue model is based on the sale of other financial products such as pensions, various kinds of insurance and direct offers from retailers.
There are four modules which can be used individually or together, and in addition to onboarding, these comprise HR admin, payroll and a benefits module where employers can offer employees a range of rewards from movie tickets and travel through to tailored offers from banking partners.
The modules include a range of functions from performance reviews and training records and an internal social network. There are plans also to add training and education services.
Flare has been upfront in saying that it wants to do for HR in small business what Xero did in accounting.
While the company is on that path in making life better for employers, it also has benefits for employees who receive a variety of discounts and offers through the platform.
Tackling HR’s Big Pain
Onboarding is often a difficult period for many employees. According to HR software company Urbanbound, 20 percent of new employees leave within the first 45 days of employment.
Many of these people leave because they feel isolated and undertrained for their new jobs.
Digital platforms have a role in getting these people set up administratively, and in deepening their engagement at their workplaces.